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Erica Wexler Is Online (2010)

| Short
0:55 | Trailer
Everyone writes to Erica Wexler on her Facebook, and she's great about responding. But Erica Wexler is dead.



(short story), (screenplay)



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Credited cast:
... Ian
... Lisa (as Brooke Bundy)
Andrea Finlayson ... Emily
... Gene
Haley Harned
... Dad
Elizabeth Merrick ... Erica Wexler
... Becky (as Kate Sheehan)
Devin Sullivan ... Patrick
... Suzannah


Erica Wexler's Facebook is a work of art. Every two minutes there's a fresh full-page influx of wall posts from her Facebook friends asking questions - about class presentations or whether they should get side-bangs or if they should hang out with this or that cute guy or girl from recitation. And Erica's great about responding, she's better than most people who give it to the two-hour-wait-to-look-cool before writing a wall post back. She's decidedly on top of her Facebook stuff. But the thing is that Erica Wexler's dead. Written by Anonymous

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Nicely underplayed piece – although perhaps a bit too underplayed
8 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

At first they thought it was her boyfriend or a family member playing a sick joke, but quickly it became clear that although she tragically died in 2009, Erica Wexler continued to use her social media to comment on other people's status and photos. This mockumentary looks at this amazing situation.

I was going to write documentary in the plot summary but realized it may not make it clear that this is a fictional short and not an actual documentary, however the term "mockumentary" usually implies comedy and that isn't the case here/. Instead this short plays it straight with a tale of essentially a ghost within Facebook who continues to talk to her friends via social media. The film plays this straight and subtle and, although I quite liked that aspect of it, I would have preferred its colors to have been a bit clearer on the mast. The point is that even though Erica is online and somehow alive, that the comments she responds to still seem to be about the original posters and not about Erica. It is a point that is underplayed so that it is not rammed down the viewer's throat, but it should have been more forcefully made in my opinion because there was a great deal of scope for it to have been clearer and more forceful.

The documentary tone is well presented throughout and the cinematography is sharp and looks professional. The actors are also very natural and convincing, adding to the realism of the piece and by extension to the point that is being made – that even in her afterlife, other users on social media are still not willing to make it all about the other people. It is a nice point which is made by suggestion through interviews ("I never really knew her") and also by the comments we see posted on the screen – but I would have liked it to play built a bit and have a stronger overall delivery of this point.

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